UPDATE 2-Three funds circle Polish telecoms group Netia -sources
* Three investment funds to run due diligence on Netia
* Netia shares jump 5.3 pct on the news, close session 0.9 pct up
* Netia says ready to allow due diligence, currently not in talks (Adds Netia and Innova comments, updates shares)
By Agnieszka Barteczko and Adrian Krajewski
WARSAW, April 3 (Reuters) - Polish telecoms company Netia will open its books to three private equity firms, which could lead to one of them buying the 2.5 billion zloty ($807.2 million) group, two sources told Reuters.
"Three investment funds will start due diligence in Netia after Easter. One of them is Innova Capital, another is linked to (Polish cellphone operator) Play," a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
Netia responded that "different private equity funds" had showed interest in buying the company in the last few months and that it was ready to allow due diligence. It added, however, that it was not in any talks at the moment.
Reuters reported in December that Innova and two other heavyweight funds Advent International and Bridgepoint were circling Netia, eager to get their hands on the company after a run of takeovers. They could delist it following a successful tender.
Netia shares jumped by as much as 5.3 percent on the news, reaching their highest levels since 2001. The 2.48-billion zloty ($801 million) company closed the session 0.9 percent up.
Innova already holds a stake in Polish telecoms group GTS Energis and boasts 900 million euros of funds under management in central Europe. It declined to comment on Netia.
Netia cemented its second place in Poland's telecoms sector last year by snapping up smaller rivals Dialog, from copper miner KGHM and corporate telecoms service provider Crowley Point Data.
Netia has also expressed interest in the telecom arms of utility PGE and the Polish railways, hoping to become an even stronger competitor to France Telecom's Polish unit TPSA.
Netia expects its recent purchases to help sales rise by more than a third in 2012 to 2.2 billion zlotys and core profit (EBITDA) to grow by half.
Netia's biggest shareholders are Third Avenue Management with 18.3 percent, ING OFE pension fund at 12.6 percent, and SISU Capital with 11.6 percent.
Netia was among the initial owners of Play, when Poland's fourth mobile network launched commercially in 2007, but sold its 23.4 percent stake a year later.
Play closed 2011 with 7.08 million clients and a 14-percent stake in the local mobile market.
Play is now 50.3-percent owned by Greek businessman Panos Germanos's fund Tollerton, with the remaining 49.7 percent in the hands of Novator - a fund owned by Icelandic tycoon Thor Bjorgolfsson which once held a stake in Netia, but made an exit in 2009 following the financial meltdown in Iceland. ($1 = 3.0971 Polish zlotys) (Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford and Jane Merriman)
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